Recent Trends in Japanese Nuclear Industry Nuke Info Tokyo No. 106
Refer to the two diagrams below for data on electric utilities’ expenditure and the nuclear industry’s sales and orders.
On February 4th the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, Inc. (JAIF) released a report on the state of the nuclear industry as at the end of the 2003 business year. According to the report, the nuclear component of electric power industry expenditures had decreased for two consecutive years. At 1.555 trillion yen, it was the lowest figure in the past 15 years. The same can be said for nuclear manufacturing sales. 1992 was the high point at 2.241 trillion yen, but since then it has been in decline. In 2003, at 1.448 trillion yen, it was just 65% of the 1992 figure.
The report predicts that the decline will continue in 2004 and 2005. It predicts an increase in 2008, but this is probably just wishful thinking.
Reactor equipment and machinery sales in the 2003 business year were up 5% on the previous year, but outstanding orders were down 6%. This suggests that sales will decrease in future.
Orders for new reactors went into sudden decline after 1980. Even if orders were made, they were at rock bottom prices. These reduced prices were passed on to subcontracting parts makers. There were even cases of companies refusing to make parts for nuclear power plants. It seems that subcontractors are beginning to worry that if this trend continues, it will no longer be possible to build nuclear power plants.
Baku Nishio (CNIC Co-Director)